The starting point is the S-Bahn stop in the spa town of Rathen or the car park on the left-hand side of the Elbe. After the ferry ride, we go through the spa town of Rathen, keep left and walk along the stream to reach Amselsee. Then we branch off to the right and follow the green line marking. After climbing a flight of steps, we keep left and follow the green markings to the Hockstein.
The Hockstein is an exposed rock spur high above the Polenztal valley. Hohnstein Castle is opposite. Not far from here is the Lausitzer Überschiebung - the transition from granite to sandstone. This is clearly visible in the different valley shapes: v-shaped in the granite up the valley and u-shaped in the sandstone down the valley.
Through the Wolfsschlucht (Wolf Gorge), a very narrow crevice, the trail descends deeply into the noticeably cooler Polenz Valley. The Polenz Valley was one of the first areas to be declared a protected area long before the national park. It is the habitat of many rare animal and plant species, such as the black stork, dipper, kingfisher and otter, but also silver fir and ostrich fern.
After the descent, we turn right and walk along the path marked with a red dot along the Polenz. After about 2.5 km, we take the path leading uphill to the right (red line). At the top, we cross the Ziegenrückenstraße again and walk on the Füllhölzelweg (red line) in the direction of Rathen. Later we come to a rather wide unmarked path branching off to the left. Follow this for a short distance and take the next path leading uphill to the right. At the next junction, keep left and continue uphill in a bend. After another bend, a signpost shows us the ascent to the Gamrig. We follow this path and climb steeply up to the top of the mesa. Down we go the same way until we reach the signpost and from there continue to the left.
Shortly before the road, a detour to the Gamrig cave is possible. To do so, take the stairs to the left at the road (same way there and back). Otherwise, take the small path directly to the right (Aspichgraben). It leads downhill to Rathen, through the village and on to the starting point.